Air-conditioning company gives mom cool surprise - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Air-conditioning company gives mom cool surprise

May 12th, 2018 development
Air-conditioning company gives mom cool surprise

By Colleen Sparks, SanTan Staff Writer


A single mother of three juggling a full-time job as a teacher and a few other positions is sweating a little less now that a Chandler company gave her a cool surprise.

Croffoot Heating and Air Conditioning Inc., based on South Hamilton Street, provided an air-conditioning unit at no charge to Cindi Morton, who teaches science and writing at Herrera Elementary School in Phoenix.

Morton, 41, who has three daughters, won the Living Chandler Keep It Cool contest through the Living Chandler Facebook group. Nearly 50 entries were submitted, including 11 from people nominating Morton for the free unit and installation.

Morton, who is in her 10th year as a teacher, juggles other jobs outside the elementary school to make ends meet.

She drives her vehicle through ride-sharing company Lyft on average 20 hours a week and tutors youths, mostly high school students, about 20 hours a week.

This summer, Morton plans to start doing respite care, helping families whose children have emotional disabilities.

The air-conditioning unit at the townhouse she bought almost two years ago was old and failing, making life uncomfortable for Morton and her two daughters who live with her. She could not afford to buy a new one.

Emily, 17, a senior at Corona del Sol High School, and Sarah, 16, a sophomore at Corona, live with her, and her oldest daughter, Mary, 21, attends Arizona State University.

Morton was teary-eyed when Kirk and Susie Croffoot, who own Croffoot Heating and Air Conditioning, and Living Chandler Facebook husband-and-wife team Matthew and Tia Coates surprised her, saying she was the winner of the AC contest. The Coates are Realtors.

“I think it’s amazing that they’re doing this,” Morton said. “I think that’s just huge. What can you say, other than just ‘Thank you.’”

She said she and her daughters had to get creative last summer to avoid the scorching temperatures in her home from about 3 to 6 p.m.

They went to a discount movie theater so often to cool off that some of the employees there learned their names.

Susie Croffoot said anyone who is working as hard as Morton “certainly deserves a little break.”

“It’s something small we can do that maybe can help her,” Susie said. “She started crying. It made me tear up.”

Morton, who is divorced, said expenses add up quickly when supporting her three daughters.

She said the home warranty company came to her townhouse about a year ago to do an inspection and found “the air-conditioner was in too rough a shape and it was too old and they were not going to insure it.”

“I was like, ‘What does that mean?’” Morton said. “I had no idea what the heck to do. They told me I was going to have to look into purchasing a new one.

“The bare-bones unit was going to cost me around $5,000. That’s where the multiple jobs really started kicking in. I’m just saving and saving and saving. It got warm enough where it made me think, ‘Oh, God, I hope my air-conditioner comes on.’

“It sounded like rocks getting kicked around. I literally can’t afford an extra $100 a month right now. I reached out on Living Chandler and said, ‘Does anybody have any ideas about who I can talk to about getting help with this?’”

That’s when Matthew told her about the contest in which the Croffoots were giving away an air-conditioning unit. The local company had given away an air-conditioning unit last year as well. The unit and installation Croffoot gave her is valued at $5,500, Susie said.

“We always were big in giving back to the community,” Susie said. “I wish we could do more than one. Chandler’s just been very good to us and we’ve been very blessed. We’ve had our business for 38 years. We’ve been in Chandler for nine (years).”

Morton said after learning she was going to receive the new air-conditioning unit, she finally allowed herself a day to rest on a Sunday, not doing work for any of her jobs.

“I feel like I got to finally take a deep breath and exhale,” she said. “It was relief.”

Morton said she does not like to ask for help for herself and reaching out was “horrifying,” but she believes in doing nice things for others.

“I’m always looking for opportunities to make other people’s lives better and trying to give them special opportunities,” she said. “I try to do that for not only my own family but complete strangers. I believe in karma.”

An Arizona native, Morton is one of seven children, and she and three of her siblings are teachers. Her father is a teacher and now works as a high school counselor.

Morton teaches fifth- and sixth-grade science and sixth-grade writing at Herrera and previously taught at a school in Maricopa. She is especially grateful for the air-conditioning unit given the fact she and many other teachers around the state have missed work recently for the teachers strike.

Morton said she will happily nominate others for the air-conditioning giveaway the next time Croffoot does it.

“How appreciative I am,” Morton said. “Thank you to Tia and Matthew and for them creating the Living Chandler Facebook group and to the AC company…providing this as an opportunity. I can’t imagine what it would be like this summer without one.”